The Co-op and Career Centre held a virtual career panel on Jan. 25 where three panellists were asked multiple questions ranging in topics from skills for job-seekers to building strong resumes and cover letters.
The graduates, Christi Volden, Xia Hu and Jane Zhang, discussed their transitions from studying to entering the workforce. The event was part of the grad mini-series offered by the centre and was facilitated by Della Siemens, alumni relations officer.
Networking, mentorship, and a professional digital presence were amongst the main skills the panellists attributed to their professional growth since graduating from Algonquin College.
Christi Volden is a 2021 graphic design graduate currently working as a graphic designer for Initiate Marketing in Kanata. During the discussion, she emphasized the value of networking and how her professors aided her career journey.
“I felt an immense amount of support from my professors in the graphic design program,” said Volden, “Not only do they have a lot of recent, and very relevant experience but some of them are part-time professors and they’re full-time working in the industry. They will constantly discuss with us as students what it’s like in the industry, how we can succeed.”
Another speaker, Xia Hu, a 2022 tourism and travel graduate, spoke about the importance of understanding your skills and talents when job searching. Prior to coming to Canada, she had been a Chinese language teacher at Jinan University in China for 16 years.
Hu said students should think back on previous knowledge and experience when considering potential employment opportunities. She explained that in her opinion, any experience is experience, no matter how unrelated it may seem.
“The more you know yourself, the better, easier, it is for you to make the right decisions,” said Hu.
Hu currently holds three different jobs: project coordinator at Tourism HR Canada, a customer service representative with Porter Airlines and a mandarin tester for Global Affairs Canada.
Zhang, a 2023 environmental management and assessment graduate, is currently a geochemical data scientist at the Geological Survey of Canada. She also contributes her expertise in environmental consulting for the Canadian Water Resource Association Ottawa chapter.
Leaning on the support of relationships built during their time on campus or field placements increased their confidence in interviews and their own expertise.
Despite graduating from different programs all three graduates gained essential skills through the Algonquin College to help them ease into their respective industries.